Apocalypse Now – Chapter 1

It happened during the middle of my calculus class; Specifically, Business 2301, otherwise known as Calculus for Business and Social. The world, as I knew it, would change forever. It was kinda cool though, ya know? – Unknown

“David! Buddddddy!” yelled a blonde haired male, wearing a Left for Dead t-shirt and a loose pair of jeans, “You coming to the dance Saturday?” he looked at David expectantly.

David stared back at him slightly annoyed. David was around 6 feet (1.85M) tall, with dark brown hair and sparkling blue eyes. He gave off the air of a relaxed honor student. The blonde guy waved at him, catching his attention.

“Shin, I already told you, I’m going to be there.” He nodded at Shin patiently. Shin gave him a thumbs up, before leaving the plaza where David was sitting. David was currently attending college in the United States of America. He was a junior at Texas A&M University, studying Advanced Mathematics. He was sitting under a tree, in a large plaza, reviewing his course material. The wind waved by, curling through the air, as David concentrated on his studies.

With a test next week and a major project due as well, David was trying to finish as much work as possible ahead of time. Mostly, because he wasn’t the hardcore partying type, he figured doing his work ahead of time was a solid plan. He had the free time, so he might as well finish his important work first. He turned over a few pages in a folder, trying to focus on the numbers laid out.

David looked out around the plaza, gazing around. The grass on the plaza was a pleasant shade of green, giving off a warm feeling of life. Various students wandered around, some walking determinedly to their classes, while others were walking at a lackluster pace doing nothing. Some walked timidly and others walked proudly. One thing they all had in common, though, was the sense of purpose in their eyes. David saw it again and again as they walked past him.

He considered his own life story. David had been born to two loving and caring middle class parents. Raised with 3 other siblings, he was the second oldest. His older brother frequently got in fights with his parents, eventually ending up with him leaving the house altogether. Because David wasn’t the most responsible child either, he was sent off to military school for one of his years in high school. While David considered it a valuable experience, in retrospect, he had very few fond memories of the place.

David saw all these kids, working so hard, and wondered what was the point of it all. What was his own purpose, he thought, wondering. It was a good question, one that very few people could answer.

Suddenly, a flash of light blinded him for a moment, and an oddly sibilant voice started talking. The odd thing about it, and what alerted him immediately, was that the voice appeared to be talking to him directly into his mind. David was shocked, disbelieving, unwilling to accept that some sort of telepathy could actually exist. David focused on what the voice was saying.

“Salutations. Welcome, Planet Earth, Dimension Fire692, to the System. In a few moments, this universe will finish updating, and will officially adopt the System as its own. The ‘read me’ option on screen will inform you of any other info you may need. That is all.” The voice faded away.

Suddenly, a large, glowing blue screen appeared in front of David. It was glowing, and covered in symbols. At the top of the screen was his name, with a number next to it, and a long looking list.

Name: David Care                Points: 8711                         Lottery Slots: 2
Abilities  |  Physical Modifications  |  Supplies  |  Weapons  |  Armor

Under each topic break was a large list of different things that were “for sale.”

David was in a bit of shock, remembering back to various novels and books he had read. Several of them had situations that were sparingly similar to the one he was in now. Basically, David had a number of points to spend on things to help him power up in this new world. Except, he wasn’t in a new world at all, he was still on Earth, sitting under a tree, on his college campus.

David quickly clicked on “Abilities”, curious to see what was in stock for him. His mind tumbled as he tried to come to terms with what he was seeing. He noticed several other students doing the same thing.

Suddenly, a list containing hundreds of powerups could be seen. David randomly clicked towards the middle to see what was in it.

Full Heal Technique – 1100 points (0/500)
Flight using telekinesis – 800 points (0/1000)
Flight using physical wings – 400 points (0/250,000)
Flight using gravity resistance – 1800 points (0/1000)
Flight using walking on air arts – 1200 points (0/2400)
Fundamental Forces Manipulation – 3800 points (0/5)
… (5/29 page)

A huge list of powers, spanning everything David could think of, from laser eyes, to flying, to psychic powers, to teleportation. He stared in amazement, overwhelmed by what he saw.

David suddenly heard a quiet buzzing sound. Looking around for the sound, he noticed his phone was vibrating. He grabbed it, answering,

“Hello, David here.”

“Duude! Are you getting this weird magic screen shit and stuff?! With all these points and powers, it’s like we’re in a game!” Shin’s voice could be heard, eagerly talking. He didn’t sound the least bit worried. David attributed that to him smoking.

David nodded, saying, “Yeah, I think you’re right Shin. I have the same screen too, with a bunch of points and stuff. Have you tried buying anything?”

“It looks like my point count is above average,” Shin said, smugly, ignoring or not hearing David, “If you tap the number floating on the screen, it will give you some info. This stuff’s awesome man! It’s all real too bro! I see a kid over there flying man! He’s fucking flying! What the fuck!” Shin was practically shaking over the phone in excitement. He was staring at a young student; a kid in his early 20’s who was zooming over campus, laughing happily.

David replied, “Hey man, let me call you back. I’m gonna see what I can figure out about this, aight?”

“Okay man, let’s meet up soon. This shit’s crazy, haha.” Shin hung up, shaking his head.

David took a look at his floating status screen, and then tapped the number containing his points. A smaller screen popped up, overlaying the first floating blue screen. It had a small paragraph, with an accept option at the bottom.

Points are the currency for the System. Use these points wisely, as they are not easily gained. The average number of points for a human is 25. The maximum number of points is 10,000.

Accept information? Yes/No

David clicked yes, wondering what would happen. Nothing happened. He was a bit disappointed. David looked around at the plaza again, wondering if other people were getting the same screen. He saw various students standing still, gaping at the air, others poking the air as if clicking options on a screen. Apparently, what was happening was going on to every student in sight, not just David. He saw one kid suddenly bring out a light saber, a look of delight on his face. For some reason, however, he couldn’t see others’ screens.

David looked back at his screen, and decided to see what was under Physical Modification.

Ki Cultivator (Advanced) - 3,000 (4/25)
Ki Cultivator (Intermediate) - 1,800 (2/10,000)
Ki Cultivator (Beginning) - 900 (31/100,000)
High Werewolf Type – 4,200 (1/25)
Werewolf Type – 2800 (3/10,000)
Lesser Werewolf Type – 1,200 (1/50,000)
High Vampire Type – 4,800 (3/25)
Vampire Type – 3,100 (1,10000)
Lesser Vampire Type – 1,600 (3/50,000)
Steel Body Type – 2,200 (21,50,000)
Herculean Strength Type – 2,800 (6/100)
Dragon Blood Type – 7,800 (1/10)
Demi-God Type – 7,400 (1/10)
Superhuman Speed Type – 2,500 (3/125)
Taoist Monk Grandmaster – 3,200 (0/70)
Life Orb Master – 8,200 (0/1)
… (13/41 page)

It listed hundreds more modifications and powerups. David clicked on one, eager to read what exactly it did. His hand hovered over the most expensive one on the current page he was looking at, “Life Orb Master.”

As soon as his finger landed on it's point value, his screen shot out a brilliant light, buzzing around, and just as suddenly, disappeared. His screen went white for a moment, and then faded back to blue. A pop up appeared.

Thank you for your purchase. Applying Physical Modification now.

“Wait what?!” David exclaimed, annoyed, “I just wanted to read what the damn thing did! Not buy it!” he mentally groaned. If he had known he would have to choose by clicking, he would have gone with one of the cooler sounding ones, like a Demi-God or a-

Brrrrrrr. Application Successful. Life Orb Master (1/1) applied. Points remaining: 511.  To open the status screen again, simply think “Status.”

The pop up went away, as did his screen. David looked down, not feeling any different. Suddenly, a brilliant white light filled his head, and he fell to the ground, collapsing, as darkness overcame him.

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